Samira and Bahar, teenage Ghanaian siblings, have worked in the illegal human smuggling business in Agadez, Niger, for several months. The day before their passage across the Sahara, the siblings must weigh their ambitions for a better life against the dangerous journey ahead.
A story about two Gemini brothers' journey on the earth. The Older brother wants to enjoy the trip himself, but his younger brother always follows him and makes a lot of troubles.
When Ursa Minor falls out of the sky in a storm, he must embark on an adventure to find his way home through the unfamiliar world he has fallen into - with the help of a new friend along the way.
JULIET tells the story of a transgender teenager, Serena. Extremely shy and always in the background, she has a dream of playing the female lead in her high school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Serena signs up to audition, which unleashes a torrent of teasing, bullying and sabotage. Still, she musters the strength to push forward with the secret support of the most popular boy in school, who will play Romeo. However, when Romeo shames her in front of his friends to protect his reputation, Serena must find the courage to stand on her own in the spotlight and accept herself just as she is.
Under the Dark Clouds is a 2D mixed-media fantasy animation about visiting a dream world. It uses digitally hand-drawn character animation with watercolor stop-motion and crayon drawings as a background. The Main character, Stra, tends to sleep when she wants to escape from reality. One of the main characters, Beddy, lets Stra enter a dream world, where Stra faces herself and accepts her depression. This film addresses the idea of self-acceptance, and how dreams reflect our unconsciousness.
Fragments is a short film which documents a young girl’s journey to understanding her biracial identity, broken home and the effects this has on her.
An Afro-Surrealist story about a giant woman and a tiny man who through the power of touch, experience an unexpected transformation.
Four Couples in South Korea finds their "late coming of ages" in between 20s and 30s. One wonders about family, one wonders impossible dream, one wonders about opportunity in sports career, and one wonders about stability and his endeavor. All of them face huge conflict with life opportunity, and turning point. Would they get over these conflicts at the end?
In L.A. Chinatown, a young woman Nan dreams of becoming a chef at her father MEI’s Chinese restaurant. But when her father excludes her from the family business, it's time to decide where she belongs.
A maladjusted dad (TIM KINSELLA) is trying to heal in an experimental therapy group called Infinite Beginnings. Meanwhile, his nonbinary kid (ALLEX JORDING) is getting close with an older man (CALEB CABRERA). Their relationship feels both dreamy and concerning—depending on whose watching.
Ten year old Jo spends her days along the Shenandoah River with her best friend Selma, fishing, scrapping for metal—surviving. But when her abusive junkie stepdad dies, Jo decides, Selma in tow, to dump the body, steal the car, and set off across the country in search of her real dad, a legendary folk singer in Los Angeles.
"an enchanting, empathetic and enticing story, which combines childhood naivety and innocence with neglect, brutality and generational damage... a brilliant take on the dark side of Americana... It is a touching and sentimental exploration of childhood innocence. The central performances from the two child actors are endearing and thoughtful..."
-Programmer's Review, Edinburgh International Film Festival
In 1960s San Francisco, a once-promising catholic school girl, Celina Guerrera, sets out to rise above the oppression of poverty and invest in a future for herself that sets new precedents for the time.
A mother of two goes on an underwater journey to make a profound decision that will reshape her family.
Today is an important day for Zak, but everything is going horribly wrong. During his adventurous bus ride, Zak goes through a deeply personal metamorphosis.
Below the comedic surface lies a warning for all of us to not lose the importance of human connections. As Zak becomes more socially aware and appreciative of his diverse community, so do we.
'The parrot lady' is inspired by a true story. The film works as an artistic interpretation of a woman's life who chose to live on the streets with her parrots, afraid of dying alone in her home.
In Old Moshi, Tanzania, a head is missing. The head is of Chief Meli who fought the German colonial occupation of territory in Kilimanjaro and was executed as a result in 1900. His head is said to have been shipped to Germany at the request of scientists. Until today, Chief Meli's grandson is waiting for it to return.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who fell in love with a beautiful horse named Aurora...
Expressively animated in a naive drawing-style that evokes children’s drawings and the texture of storybook illustrations, Aurora is a bittersweet story about love, friendship, and growing up.
Numerous parents have been impacted by the opioid crisis in America. Struggles with substance abuse can lead to family turmoil and instability for young children. Head Start centers around the country are actively working to help bridge that gap and support those families.
"Piece by Piece" is an animated short story about one mother's journey to recovery and empowerment.
When Gon, a playful orphaned fox, finds that young Hyoju has lost his mother, he tries to comfort him and make amends for his own earlier mischiefs by secretly bringing small gifts to the boy every day. But Hyoju doesn’t realize who is behind the anonymous gifts, and the two are headed for a heartbreaking climax.
Private KIM, a man who loves drawing, is badly burned from an accident in the military and survives a year of painful treatment. Finally, the day has come to unwrap the bandages…
A useless, damaged, forgotten block of marble after years of neglect, emerges as one of the greatest and most beautiful works of art.
A teenage girl reckons with love and loss as her mother battles a dangerous disease. A story about the enduring bond between mothers and daughters, Beautiful explores the transformative power of resilience.
In an abandoned attic, dictaphone robot REC desperately tries to connect to тхе bird that stops on its window. Using his play button to say something, he finds himself shocked by the content and scares the bird away. He rushes to make her come back, to record over his "own voice" before his battery leaks.
“Song Sparrow" is about immigration. People of different color and race and culture, old and young, embark on journeys, eager to find some place they can call home, or just some place they can live in. Many brave perils more formidable than the ones they ran for in the first place. It is not always weathering storms till and onto shores of calm and prosperity; many a time storms keep them company on and off shores. They dream of better lives while in reality having little choice.
It is about a real event which happened in Austria in August 2015, where flesh and bone of human and animal become intermingled.
This short movie may inspire the viewer to ask: "is it better to go or stay", or more accurately: "is it worse to stay than to go? Is a large chunk of humanity entrapped by events befallen their lands many centuries before they were even born?
" Song Sparrow" uses dolls to pose these questions. It is no less disturbing even though dolls have no life in them. But an attempt is made to show the situation faced by those that have no choice but to put their lives in peril to escape perils of staying, and to trade staying within chaos for a chaotic escape.
When the going gets ruff, two rival pup scouts have to work together to investigate the mystery of their missing treats.
Far beneath the beautiful sea, a unique whale sings a song that is all his own. Inspired by the incredible true story of the 52 Hz whale, “52 A Tale of Loneliness,” invites viewers on an underwater journey that is certain to be as unique as 52 himself.
A young couple walk a fine line while thriving in an open marriage until they catch each other breaking the rules.
A man undertakes a dangerous spirit painting ritual in an attempt to save his ailing wife.
Yusuf takes on the job of transporting refugees in his refrigerated meat truck, believing this is the only way he can find money to save his daughter's life. When the refugees are brought to him, he realizes that some are children who may not survive the cold of the truck, but he still keeps on with the job, gambling with their lives.
The old man wants to run away from the nursing home
The short man makes artificial limbs for himself, gets tall, coming out of his house, We see that everyone is short.
A fierce teenage girl joins the boy's wrestling team in an effort to regain strength and control after facing sexual trauma. Out of place and alone in her journey, Alex leans on the image of who she wants to become as she faces insults and criticism from a toxic bully on the team. At home, the truth about both her trauma and her latest struggles have been kept a secret.
Corey, a small-town veterinarian with suicidal urges, keeps her depression secret from her family and friends. As her mind cracks, her cat Clyde becomes the unlikely foil in her attempts at her own life.
Winner: Best Live Action Short Film at the 35th Warsaw Film Festival (European Premiere); Performance Award at the 50th USA Film Festival
1943 January, Cat Island, MS, United States. The FBI is expected at the government's secret military base to see how Japanese-American soldiers serve as 'dog baits'. Based on true events, The Shepherds of Cat Island is a story of systemic racism that takes a single, and continuous look into our prejudice and conscience.
The smell of shampoo and cigarettes hangs in the air. The hair buns tear at the scalp and the newest hits play on a small radio. It’s the golden 50ies and Victor has his hair salon in perfect order – or so it seems. Because from her first day at the new job, Paula just can’t take her eyes off the strange jukebox in the corner. She senses that the machine is somehow connected to a dark secret. As Paula starts to take a deeper look at it, she doesn’t understand that her own life is on the line.
An ultra conservative woman plans to break up with her boyfriend in order to keep their rent controlled apartment to herself. What could go wrong?
A comedy that deals with moral responsibility, false religiousness and gender dynamics.
As a birthday surprise, a young couple visit a psychic together.
Regev forgets his wallet at the popcorn stand, but the popcorn vendor says a mysterious blonde took it and went into the movie.
Without a movie ticket, and with the ticket checker on his tracks, Regev must solve the mystery through the cinema's corridors.
The Flame You Keep chronicles the plight of refugees across the globe, including the story of Yusra Mardini who fled from the war in Syria and became an Olympian swimmer and a Good Will Ambassador for UNHCR.
Barrier-grid animation, kinegrams, or picket fence animation is an optical illusion that originated in the 1890s.
Jack confronts creatures both real and imaginary on an extraordinary animated visual rollercoaster created with some of the comic world’s finest artists. Jack emerges triumphant, reborn… and the lead singer of the best band around to boot.
A music video for the pop group Maggie Dave, animator Cassie Shao explores the dreamworld with a blend of hand-painted and digital textures that evoke an otherworldly perspective.
There is a palpable rift in our country, our world, our reality. "The New Normal" is constantly redefined."Are we living in the darkest timeline?" We wonder. "The simulation is glitching." We muse. The great divide is happening between humans, between the planet, between the universe. Take a step back and reflect on where we came from and where we're going.
Music Video for The Black Sorrows
"Haiku | 俳句" is a symphonic audiovisual project for two Japanese performers, alternating percussion groups, soundscapes and rhythmicized video sequences. The film is an experimental approach to pay tribute to the extraordinary art of Japanese haiku poetry.
Salvage questions the allure of old objects by reimagining obsolete tools as reliquaries haunted by the souls of disgruntled workers who resent their new jobs. This hybrid intersectional documentary uses magic realism to critique the inequities of gender, ethnicity, and class that underpin consumer capitalism.
A group of young radicals band together armed with bongo drums and Molotov cocktails made from craft beer bottles. An act of extremism is replaced by aesthetic value. Mao’s Little Red Book is no longer in print.
Part music video, part magic realism, ‘Wall Piano’ shows a wall as something other than an immovable barrier. As it passes through the imagination of a group of young children, the concept of a powerful wall controlling their lives, out of nowhere, becomes something else. The idea for the short film came from 12 year-old Nada, who also featured in the film.
A woman walks outdoors for inspiration ... and sees the future.
Through her eyes we see humans as they move through nature now and decades later: noisier, busier, the landscape cluttered with housing and trash. Six individuals are revealed to us in the past, bound by gender and class, then re-visited as their future counterparts. Life goes on as the land changes.
Jimmy spends almost every night in his Palace of Isolation, studying his favorite superheroes. But tonight is different. He may have just cracked the storyline for the next big budget blockbuster.
Probably not, but you never know.
Dustin Clark is a musician, an artist, and a man who sees challenges as possibilities.
Dustin briefly chronicles his history with Muscular Dystrophy, what has inspired him to keep creating, his current musical process and his hopeful view of the future.
Risk Factor uncovers the impact of racism in healthcare in the United States, a country with Black infant and maternal mortality rates comparable to those of developing countries. Risk Factor chronicles the experiences of three Black women who’ve suffered an infant loss in Cleveland – a city that has experienced Black infant death at six times the rate of white infants.
Exhausted with her busy life, Noelle, a publicist from LA, can’t face another holiday season with her overly happy family. She heads to Scotland to a quiet retreat at a manor tucked away from everything. When she checks into the manor, she quickly discovers that the kids who live there create magic, in concert with the house, creating a holiday she didn’t even know she needed.
The River is a documentary about how communication and purpose play into the success and failures of managing the homeless encampment in Aberdeen, Washington. Director Rick Walters goes to The River Camp to live with and talk with the displaced inhabitants to search for meaning in their experience, and to find catharsis for his own battles with addiction and security. This film was made because of the ideas and inspiration of executive producer Judy Isaacson, and by the engine that runs it: producer Heather Pilder Olson. Edited by David W. Phillips. The River won the Donald E. Lacy Social Justice Award at the Studio City International Film Festival in 2020, and was nominated for Best Documentary at the LA Festival of Cinema in 2021.
On the barrier island of Sapelo, two brothers are growing up in the last remaining enclave of the Saltwater Geechee people. Their greatest joy is exploring the island like their adoptive mother, Cornelia Walker Bailey, did as a child. As Sapelo’s storyteller and elder matriarch, she works to preserve what remains of this unique community established by her ancestors.
Those Who Spring of Me is an independent film about a young non-verbal man with autism, Will, and his girlfriend, Tatum, who also has autism. The couple met on the job, and Will communicates through supported typing on a voice output device. They announce to his parents that they want to have a child together and they ask for permission and assistance when the child is born.
ÁINE is a story about raising a daughter in a world that has already defined her potential. This documentary short film follows the life of a young girl with Down Syndrome from her mother's pre-natal findings through to her present day challenges. As the family navigates unexpected turns, this little girl will sass you with her tenacity for life and her love of music.
In northern Kentucky there sits a gigantic replica of Noah’s ark, a 510-foot-long behemoth that towers over its surroundings. Built by a controversial fundamentalist Christian organization, “Ark Encounter” is designed as a teaching aid for what its builders say is the Bible’s literal truth — including the contentions that the Earth was created in six days and that dinosaurs coexisted with humans.
But this latter-day ark is not only about the past. In the short documentary above, it is also a colossal reminder of those interpretations of the Bible that foretell an apocalypse. And in an era like ours, when even nonbelievers may be carrying a sense of apocalyptic dread, it’s worth considering: What should you do when you believe the end is nigh?
Short biopic of Australian sign, showcard and ticket writer Barbara Enright. This is the fourth short film in the 'When Better Letters Met' series.